Friday, August 31, 2018

Colin Kaepernick wins ruling to continue collusion case against NFL


In a blow to the NFL, an arbitrator has ruled that Colin Kaepernick’s collusion case against the league can proceed because he has produced sufficient evidence that the league and its owners colluded to keep the free-agent quarterback off the field.

The ruling by Stephen Burbank, an arbitrator who was appointed by the league and the NFL Players Association, said Kaepernick’s lawyers had unearthed enough evidence in the past year for the case to proceed to a full hearing. After months of depositions and document searches, the lawyers will be able to question league officials, owners and others in trial-like format.

The decision was revealed by Mark Geragos, Kaepernick’s lawyer.

Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL in October accusing the owners of conspiring to not offer him a new contract because of his decision to protest during the playing of the U.S. national anthem. In August, 2016, Kaepernick was the first player to kneel during the anthem to raise awareness of police brutality and other forms of social injustice.

Dozens of other players ended up joining Kaepernick, creating a schism among fans, sponsors and owners. Last season, U.S. President Donald Trump attacked the league for not penalizing players who did not stand for the anthem. In May, the league tightened its policy to force players to stand for the anthem, instead of just suggesting they stand.

Since he became a free agent in March, 2017, Kaepernick has not been invited to work out for a team nor been offered a new contract. Some team officials have quietly suggested Kaepernick’s best years were behind him, while others said they did not want to sign him to play as a backup. Kaepernick, who is now 30, played six years with the San Francisco 49ers and led them to an appearance in the Super Bowl in his second season.

John Elway, the former Denver Broncos quarterback who is now general manager of the team, muddied the waters further when he told the NFL Network he did not sign Kaepernick because the player had once been offered a contract and turned it down.

Elway, though, did not say he offered Kaepernick a contract in 2016, when he was set to receive US$12-million from the 49ers and months before he first protested. Kaepernick said no because he would have had to take a pay cut to join the Broncos. Elway said he did not sign Kaepernick when he became a free agent the following year even though he might have accepted far less than US$12-million to play in Denver.

Elway did not say explicitly he shunned Kaepernick because he protested during the anthem. But Kaepernick’s lawyers contend the quarterback was still talented enough to play in the NFL and that he was willing to be a backup if needed. The NFL has shunned Kaepernick because of his political views and his decision to protest during the anthem, his legal team has argued.

During discovery, Kaepernick’s lawyers have requested hundreds of pages of documents from the league office and teams. It has also questioned, in closed-door sessions, owners of the Dallas Cowboys, the New England Patriots and several other teams, as well as league officials including commissioner Roger Goodell and Troy Vincent, the executive vice-president of football operations.

If Kaepernick wins his case in a full hearing, he would be eligible to receive the money he might have received if he were signed as a free agent. The damages would be tripled.

Eric Reid, who was one of the first players to protest with Kaepernick when both of them were on the 49ers, has also filed a grievance against the league. Reid became a free agent this off-season and although considered one of the best safeties on the market, has not yet been signed by a team.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

NPR's Tiny Desk:
The Messthetics

It was Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day when this somewhat loud and sometimes frenetic band came to play at my desk. I couldn't help but wonder if The Messthetics would inspire some eight-year old child in the office to one day become a musician, one who'd go on tell the tale of seeing these D.C. legends at an office when they were a kid.

For me it was exhilarating to see musicians I've known and loved for years be invigorated by younger talent. That's what happened when the bass and drums from D.C.'s pioneering punk band Fugazi crisscrossed with the brilliant, skillful and younger guitarist Anthony Pirog. It's only fitting that this Tiny Desk Concert happened on D.C. turf.

I've seen Anthony in a number of settings around town, including the brilliant duo he has with his wife, cellist Janel Leppin called Janel and Anthony. His playing can be understated and over-the-top all at the same time. It never feels self-indulgent and his music always serves the song. Drummer Brendan Canty saw the guitarist perform once and they eventually formed a band. Together, Brendan and bassist Joe Lally are a brilliant pulse of energy and that allows Anthony the freedom to fly. The music they create is like no other. The instrumental music they make is memorable, relatable and transcendent.

Set List

"Radiation Fog/Crowds and Power"
"The Inner Ocean"
"The Weaver"


Producers: Bob Boilen, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Beck Harlan; Production Assistant: Stefanie Fernández; Photo: Morgan Noelle Smith/NPR.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The amount of alcohol you should have is zero

from Boing Boing:

A study entitled "Alcohol use and burden for 195 countries and territories, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016" has determined that no one should ingest any alcohol. It leads to death, kinda like life.
Via The Lancet:

Alcohol use is a leading risk factor for global disease burden and causes substantial health loss. We found that the risk of all-cause mortality, and of cancers specifically, rises with increasing levels of consumption, and the level of consumption that minimises health loss is zero. These results suggest that alcohol control policies might need to be revised worldwide, refocusing on efforts to lower overall population-level consumption.
I have found that I can drink less and less as I get older. While I enjoy my Jameson, whiskey leaves me feeling awful and foggy the following day. I've passed the point where that feeling is worthwhile.

The belief, posed by my MD father, is that genetically our bodies (and my sister, but not my brother who is too ‘like my mom’) do not produce enough aldehyde dehydrogenase to break the acetaldehyde down and we essentially are poisoning ourselves, as the paper says.

Image via

Monday, August 27, 2018

School of Life Monday:
How To Lengthen Your Life

The trick to lengthening your life isn't to eat more kale or jog more: it's to lengthen how long time feels, which can be done chiefly by introducing new experiences and routines, and opening your eyes fully to the multiple wonders of existence.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Minding the Gap
Full Trailer

The secret to growing up is that no one really knows what they’re doing. It's in the gap between childhood and adulthood that we find meaning for ourselves.

The Hulu Original Documentary Minding The Gap premieres, Aug. 17.

Compiling over 12 years of footage shot in his hometown of Rockford, IL, in MINDING THE GAP Bing Liu searches for correlations between his skateboarder friends' turbulent upbringings and the complexities of modern-day masculinity. As the film unfolds, Bing captures 23-year-old Zack’s tumultuous relationship with his girlfriend deteriorate after the birth of their son and 17-year-old Keire struggling with his racial identity as he faces new responsibilities following the death of his father. While navigating a difficult relationship between his camera, his friends, and his own past, Bing ultimately weaves a story of generational forgiveness while exploring the precarious gap between childhood and adulthood.

Minding The Gap won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Filmmaking at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, and is executive produced by veteran documentarian Steve James (The Interrupters, Hoop Dreams). Bing Liu also serves as producer alongside Diane Quon (Life Itself, Hoop Dreams). Hulu and Magnolia Pictures will release the film on August 17, 2018.

Watch Aug. 17 on Hulu:

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Grandmaster Flash built his first mixer using parts from Radio Shack

Hip hop pioneer Grandmaster Flash grew up in the Bronx and attended a public vocational high school. There he learned how to fix electronics. He was also into music — his father had a huge record collection. In this video, Flash talks about how he combined those two interests and built his first mixer using parts he bought at Radio Shack.

Grandmaster Flash was tinkerer and a hacker. There were commercially available mixers at the time; he built his own. He absorbed the nascent music culture developing around him and twisted it to his own ends, developing new mixing techniques like beat juggling. He perfected scratching and brought it to a wider audience.

Any scientist, engineer, or artist would recognize the process at work here, how tightly coupled the development of new technology and fresh ideas is. Club DJs wanted a way to transition from one record to another without missing a beat, so the mixer was invented. Once that technology existed, people started using mixers to do things other than their initial purpose. New tech begat new ideas begat new tech, the adjacent possible expanding all the while, until a curious kid who dabbled in electronics and was obsessed with music came along and helped invent hip hop, the most culturally significant movement of the past 40 years.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Thursday, August 23, 2018

LeBron James :
Now Using His Talents To Make Social Change

from Ambrosia for Heads:

Even in the NBA off-season, LeBron James drives to the lane. Above and beyond his aspirations on the court, the four-time NBA MVP is out to effect lasting change through his charitable work. The recent opening of the I Promise public elementary school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio has garnered a lot of attention, but it is only one of his many admirable philanthropic endeavors. The three-time NBA champion has also used his position to speak out against racism in the league, police brutality, and use his voice to drive and shape conversations in response to politics and government leadership.

While the 33-year-old may be a notable humanitarian, he is also a highly respected businessman. On top of his countless endorsement deals, James and his partner in SpringHill Entertainment, Maverick Carter, have started to make their presence felt in Hollywood. Not only is SpringHill behind a House Party remake and an untitled comedy that James reportedly co-wrote, the company is also producing a docu-series for the Showtime network titled Shut Up And Dribble. The name alludes to the comment Fox News Channel personality Laura Anne Ingraham leveled at James in response to his support of the championship Golden State Warriors declining a White House invitation from Donald Trump. ...

Wednesday, August 22, 2018


If Trump tries to pardon his way out of trouble,
it will make things worse for him

from Boing Boing:
There's a rumor that Trump will pardon Paul Manafort tonight at one of his sweaty rallies. If he does, it could come back to haunt him. Vox interviewed 10 legal experts who are largely in agreement that pardoning Manafort would actually help prosecutors nail him to the wall that much faster.

A few highlights from the article:

"If the president issues a pardon in order to influence a witness and impede the investigation, that would also be a further act of obstruction." -- Lisa Kern Griffin, law professor, Duke University

“If the president pardons anyone involved in the Russian investigation, it may prove to be one of the stupidest things he has yet done.” —Julie O’Sullivan, Georgetown University

“The threat of state prosecution is enough to force Kushner, Flynn, Manafort, etc. to become cooperating witnesses, regardless of whether Trump secretly promises to pardon them.” —Jed Shugerman, Fordham University

If President Trump pardons subjects of Mueller's investigation, they will be unable to claim their Fifth Amendment rights if they are asked to testify under oath. -- Asha Rangappa, associate dean, Yale Law School

With each abnormal, unbecoming, or dishonorable act, President Trump makes it harder for his appointees to defend him, harder for traditional Republicans to maintain their uneasy power alliance with him, and easier for Democrats to take the moral high ground and secure political advantage. President Trump is in danger of snuffing out his candle in the first year of his presidency. -- Andy Wright, law professor, Savannah Law School

Monday, August 20, 2018

School of Life Monday:
The Appeal of Lonely Places

Some of us feel most at home not in obviously beautiful or homely places, but in desolate, melancholy ones, places that are vast, barren, bleak or isolated. These places speak to our souls and deserve to be celebrated as our true homes.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Wonder What A 1977 New York City Park Jam Sounded Like? Press Play… (Mix)

from Ambrosia For Heads:
Bringing the earliest days of Hip-Hop to the digital age is a challenge. While DJ Kool Herc, DJ Red Alert, and Grandmaster Melle Mel (among many others) are highly active in telling the story, and presenting the culture they helped create, other things are harder to find.

Pioneering DJs like Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa, The Disco Twins, Pete “DJ” Jones and others can tell you about their playlists. These icons can recall which 12″ singles (some of which had covered-up labels at the time) really opened up the party. These mixmasters can debate who played which breaks first, and who freaked these musical moments better. But how often can Heads in the 2010s really hear it as it was?

This weekend, cultural purveyor Hass718 shared a 40-minute segment from Elmhurst, Queens believed to be in the iconic 1977 year. The same calendar that brought the Blackout, Reggie Jackson’s “Mr. October” New York Yankees slug-fest, and the Son Of Sam’s arrest, delivered this party-in-audio. Recorded at P.S 127, Heads can hear the slang, catch the amazing rarities spun, and even get a taste of the Colt 45 beers for sale for 60¢ a pop—with some crazy on-the-mic advertising. This is just one party among many that era (and one that’s short on much info), but to the folks behind the wheels of steel, it rocks in ’15 just like it sounds like it did in ’77!

Friday, August 17, 2018

Why were people thinner in the 1970s?

from Boing Boing:
On July 26, Guardian columnist George Monbiot tweeted a photo of people on Brighton Beach in 1976, with the comment:
In this photo, from 1976, almost everyone is what we would now call slim. So what has happened? A sudden loss of willpower, as some rightwing journos claim? No. An obesogenic environment created by junk food manufacturers and their advertisers.

As you can see, lively Twitter discussion ensued. Monbiot did some research into people's dietary and exercise habits, then and now. He found that people actually ate more in the 1970s than they do now. Manual laborers are heavier today than they were in the 1970s. Kids move around as much today as they did 50 years ago.

"So what has happened?" asks Monbiot? His answer: lots more sugar.

The light begins to dawn when you look at the nutrition figures in more detail. Yes, we ate more in 1976, but differently. Today, we buy half as much fresh milk per person, but five times more yoghurt, three times more ice cream and – wait for it – 39 times as many dairy desserts. We buy half as many eggs as in 1976, but a third more breakfast cereals and twice the cereal snacks; half the total potatoes, but three times the crisps. While our direct purchases of sugar have sharply declined, the sugar we consume in drinks and confectionery is likely to have rocketed (there are purchase numbers only from 1992, at which point they were rising rapidly. Perhaps, as we consumed just 9kcal a day in the form of drinks in 1976, no one thought the numbers were worth collecting.) In other words, the opportunities to load our food with sugar have boomed. As some experts have long proposed, this seems to be the issue.

The shift has not happened by accident. As Jacques Peretti argued in his film The Men Who Made Us Fat, food companies have invested heavily in designing products that use sugar to bypass our natural appetite control mechanisms, and in packaging and promoting these products to break down what remains of our defences, including through the use of subliminal scents. They employ an army of food scientists and psychologists to trick us into eating more than we need, while their advertisers use the latest findings in neuroscience to overcome our resistance.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Original Aerosmith tour van found in Massachusetts woods

from Boing Boing:

A piece of American rock 'n' roll history was discovered in western Massachusetts: the original Aerosmith tour van.
In a recently aired episode of the hit History Channel show, “American Pickers,” hosts and antique scavengers Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz tracked down the band’s original tour van in Chesterfield that the group used to schlep to gigs around New England in the early 1970s.

Not much was initially known about the rusted, 1964 International Harvester Metro van, buried in the woods, said the property’s owner, identified only as Phil, who told Wolfe and Fritz the vehicle was there when he bought the land.
Founding Aerosmith member and guitarist Ray Tabano confirmed the find, calling it the band's "rolling hotel." Wolfe and Fritz purchased the historic van for $25,000.

Monday, August 13, 2018

School of Life Monday:
The Problem of Shame

Underlying so many of our emotional problems lies one phenomenon above any other; shame. Feeling misguidedly and disproportionately ashamed of who we are is at the root of an extraordinary amount of disturbance, rendering us harmful to ourselves and to the world.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

West Hollywood unanimously approves permanent removal of Trump's Walk of Fame star

from Boing Boing:

Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame has become a honeypot for vandals, MAGA-hat cretins, and all sorts of shenanigans, so the West Hollywood City Council unanimously voted to remove it permanently.

Via Los Angeles Times:
The resolution, put forth by West Hollywood Mayor Pro Tem John D'Amico and Councilwoman Lindsey Horvath, urges the city of Los Angeles -- where the star is located -- and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to remove the marker “due to [Trump’s] disturbing treatment of women and other actions.”
That's going to cause quite a stir.

West Hollywood wants to remove Trump star from Walk of Fame (Los Angeles Times)

Monday, August 6, 2018

School of Life Monday:
A Country We Could Be Proud Of?

We're sometimes taught that feeling proud of one's country is always suspect; but actually, it's very important to be able to have and express pride in collective life. The trick is to ensure that we have countries that deserve our pride. In this film, we design the ideal country to be proud of.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Jay Adams ramp skating 1977
from my IG

The Original One and Only JAY ADAMS on a somewhat primitive but well built back yard ramp circa 1977. This was just a one hit ramp, at the end of an L shaped drive way, you had maybe 60feet to push with a little down slope half way through then had to veer right hard and you had maybe 10 feet before you'd hit the ramp, it was awkward but it was rare and relatively smooth transition, the first ramp many of us had ever seen with a perfectly round cut transition in the base support structure, no one even built half pipes yet, and here's fuckin Jay Boy flying off the top! No, honestly, he's not making this, he's totally going off in more ways than one, just going for it, because that's just what he did. The ramp belonged to a friend of mine from school, Brett Adams (no relation to Jay). The ramp was up in Brentwood, just in between Paul Revere and Kenter. As you can see from this picture the ramp is actually leaning up against the roof of the house (note broomstick coping and no deck on top, oldschool kids!), a few weeks later they built its own free standing support and put the ramp at the straight end of the driveway, i made a bunch of great photos there with Alva, in particular, and several others, including one of Brett that made it into my Fuck You Too book and MY RULES the book. The frontside airs of Alva are classics, a backside tail-tap of T.A. ( @thetonyalva1957 ) made it onto the contents page in SkateBoarder Magazine. This photo appears in my co-authored (w/Stecyk) "DogTown - The Legend of The Z-Boys" still available at your local bookstore or Amazon... #jayadams #jayboy #jayboyadams #ZBOYS #Zflex #TrackerTrucks #backyardramp #1977 #DogTown #WLA #quarterpipe #inspiration #integrity #BadAss #Venice #OG #100% #100percentskateboarder #innovator #skateboarding #skating #knowYourHistory #rampskating #quarterpipe #getRadical #GNARLY #RAD #politicallyIncorrect #MyRules #surfculture #GetTheNewBook

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Thursday, August 2, 2018

Black Flag playing a garage party
On my IG

BLACK FLAG (spring 1983) This rare photograph was never seen until the MY RULES book. Black Flag playing a garage party on a Saturday afternoon in West Los Angeles at my request, in order to get as many SUICIDALs together at one time, admission was you needed to be wearing your ST hand drawn shirt to get in the back yard (unless you came w/BLACK FLAG) all so i could photograph as many of their shirts as possible for the forthcoming debut SUICIDAL TENDENCIES album cover. I produced the album, shot all the photos, designed the whole shit and even managed the band for a while, til i quit... This was an incredible gig, BLACK FLAG were incredible, and in fact it was Dezo's last time playing in the original band. There's some video you can find on line if you don't believe me, shot by Al Flipside. #DOPE #punkrock #HeavyBeyondWords and I can't front, when the Suicidal's played after Black Flag, they couldn't even get through a full song before shit was knocked down, and had to keep starting over and over, it was wild... #garageband #garageparty @SuicidalTendencies #HenryRollins #DezCadena #ChuckDukowski #GregGinn #billstevenson - And contrary to popular belief, this was not Mike Muir's garage, but in fact it was the garage of the grandmother of one of ST's roadies Albert. #DIY #KeepItReal #OldSchool #Westside #PUNK Did i forget to mention this photo appears as a full 13" wide page in the MY RULES book? #MyRules #GetTheNewBook P.S. I was using my trusty PENTAX with the 17mm fisheye and the double flash bracket contraption i built to make this photograph.

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